Senator Kent announces retirement, stepping down as DFL Leader

Senate DFL Leader Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury) announces today that after serving in the Minnesota Senate for 10 years, she will retire at the end of her term next year and not seek re-election. The decision was based on her need to focus more on her family, particularly her mother who needs her attention and support at this time in her life. Given her decision to retire from the Senate, Senator Kent will step down as the Senate Minority Leader to allow a new Leader to step in and continue the important work still to do on behalf of the people of Minnesota. 

“It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve my community in the Minnesota Senate for almost 10 years now. I’ve been inspired by the dedicated community members, advocates, and colleagues I’ve had the privilege of working with who are committed to building a better Minnesota for everyone,” said Senator Kent. “I began my political career as a mom fighting for better and more equitable public education, and I am proud that over the course of my tenure, Minnesota students have seen some of the biggest advancements in schools in recent history, including this year’s education budget, which will invest $1B over the course of the next biennium to support our students and schools.” 

“I am also incredibly humbled to have had the opportunity to serve as the first woman Senate DFL Leader. It has been an honor to hold this position, and I am so proud of the passion and dedication to service that my DFL colleagues displayed over the course of these past 18 months, as we faced unprecedented challenges in the legislature, our state, and our communities. Across historic legislative sessions, we have worked hard to keep Minnesotans healthy and our communities strong.”

“The decision to retire at the end of my term next year was a difficult one, but it is in the best interest of my family. The pandemic has been hard on everyone — hard on millions of families — and mine is absolutely no exception. Throughout it all, I’ve tried my best to do two roles that I alone can do: be my son’s mother, and my mother’s daughter, in fact, her only family member. I’ve done the best I can, and my husband, Chris, has been amazing. However, COVID has complicated our lives in ways that I could not have foreseen when I stepped up to leadership. It’s been two years since I’ve seen my mother, and I’m deeply grateful for her care at an assisted living facility in Dallas where she’s been without direct family support. It is time to make changes in my life and put my family first.”

“I’ve reflected on this over several months, and with a bit of distance, since session ended, it became clear that I need to prioritize my family and can’t commit to another four-year term. With that decision, I have also decided to step down as Senate DFL leader to give the new leader the time they’ll need to continue fighting for the shared values we all hold dear. I am committed to supporting a new DFL Leader to ensure a smooth transition, and I will continue to work hard in my role as the Senator for my community until my last day in office. I will be forever grateful for this experience and appreciate everyone’s grace and understanding of this decision.”

The Senate DFL caucus will meet Monday, September 13 to elect a new Senate Minority Leader.

Senator Susan Kent
Susan Kent represents District 53 in the eastern Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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